Friday, December 19, 2014

Oware

I beat my sister at Oware today
in two hours of nearly untroubled silence.

As children,
we didn't see eye to eye often.

She insisted our dolls should have
perfectly brushed straight hair.
I learned to use scissors.

She wanted to sleep on the top bed.
I claimed it first!

I learned how to use a lighter.
She got burned.

We were both afraid of the dark.
I came up with a monster under the bed.
[we called it 'Mrs. Wig']

As children,
we were regularly warned by the father

we wouldn't be let into the world
if we didn't make peace with each other.

We were grounded for years,
I remember.

I complain about her sluggishness,
she still makes fun of my math.

(From left to right: Daniela, me and Kelle)

N.B.: 
  • There's a one-year age difference between Kelle and me, this poem is for/about her.
  • Oware is an abstract strategy game among the bigger Mancala family of board games. They say you can't be selfish if you play Oware. I was incredibly selfish as child. Thank God I also had sisters growing up.
  • Oware works with two sacred principles: you must sow if you want to reap and you must learn to give if you want to receive.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Strangers IV

Dear Stranger,

I would tell you
the stories behind the neon letters
if you couldn't guess.
Something tells me you do.

Have you ever visited
the space between two words
in a poem? Try me here,
there is enough room

for the thoughts on your mind
and the questions you don't ask
because they would get lost on
the way from your window to mine.

I talked to someone last night
who couldn't sleep either.
He had a cigarette and watched
the empty loneliness of the streets.

I was the one who waved.
Would you have waved back?
Will you,
ever?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Political science

350 B.C.E Aristotle writes Politics
2014 I regret having slept through
college philosophy lectures on
Rousseau and Locke.

Because there's you
reading a science fiction novel
I recommended
against a barricade when it's calm. 

You speak the language of
snipers and bombs
which I cannot understand
or learn from books.

We have tea for breakfast
you don't talk about the blood.

But at 4 a.m. Ms. Revolution sleeps
and you are still awake.